As anyone who's spent time on dating sites knows, they can be time consuming. A growing trend, particularly amongst busy businessmen, is to hire a third party to write their profile description and manage introductory correspondence. Preferably this third party has a way with words and a curved moral compass.
For the last two years I've provided this service. The way with words is required to make the client sound even more magnificent than he already is while the curved moral compass ensures I have no problem chatting up women on his behalf. It's not really lying. It's white lying.
I look at it this way. Online dating breaks the romance rules on so many levels can one more kink really hurt the process? To my mind, speed dating is possibly the most unromantic thing in the world but if two people meet and fall in love because of a speed dating event, who am I to question their relationship?
Both online dating and speed dating focus on the result not the process. Busy professional people don't have time for the process. They get results at work. They want the same results from their dating lives. Too much to ask?
The thing is it's impossible to apply the same way of thinking to business procedures and dating prospects. But that doesn't stop people trying. Back in 2011 I worked for three months for a successful California-based entrepreneur. He wanted a wife. In his mid-30s he wanted her fast. He was still reeling from the unexpected break up of his previous relationship.
His strategy was a numbers game. In the space of a month he signed up to more than 30 different dating sites including Sugardaddie.com, Match.com, PerfectMatch.com, Chemistry.com, eHarmony.com and Matchmaker.com. I managed his profile and correspondence on eight sites.
He wanted me to contact a minimum of 15 women per day. His goal was to find women who were interested in talking to him on the phone. My job was to find the women who'd want to do that. I'd introduce myself to them, pretend to be him and flirt with them. I'd then push for a phone call. Some were receptive. Others backed off.
On an average week he was making five to 10 phone calls. Considering I was targeting up to 600 women a week, it doesn't take a maths genius to figure out that from a business point of view, that's a terrible return. No matter how much I tried to convince him that he was being too pushy, he refused to change his system.
The women that were most responsive to his demands were those on Sugardaddie.com. One problem. My client was not interested in 'gold-diggers.' He wanted a classy woman that he could respect. He just didn't want to put any effort into finding her. For the most part, the women that were more in line with what he wanted were put off by his aggressive approach.
After three months he ended his online dating experiment bitterly disappointed. In my opinion he never really gave himself a chance.
But his attitude is not uncommon. In fact, I experienced it myself when I signed up to a site about a month ago. Within a few days I received a mail from a guy who said he liked my profile and gave me his number.
Perhaps I'm a bit old fashioned. I don't mind phoning up a guy that I know and like. But to phone a guy I don't know on the offchance that I might like him or he might like me? I just don't see the point. Not to mention the safety issue. Online dating is set up to eliminate those concerns. Anyone who wants to circumvent them is immediately suspicious.
I read the profile of my eager suitor. He appeared to be a hard working, poetry writing, countryside dweller. All in all, very Zen. A laid-back guy who lived in a cottage and was looking for a soul mate. There was a photo. He had kind eyes.
I responded to his mail with a simple hello, telling him I liked his profile. I said I'd prefer if we could chat online first. He was not impressed. Chatting into a screen was not real conversation he informed me. He gave me a choice. Call or go away.
I chose the latter option. Ultimatums are not the best way to start a relationship I find. I let him know that 21st century communication is in fact based on chatting to a screen and I didn't appreciate his bully tactics. I wished him the best of luck in his search.
His final reply was not kind. He called me an immature and silly game player. I felt no loss by not having had the opportunity to go on a date with him, which totally contradicts my first impression. Initially I was hopeful. I really liked his profile.
I considered replying to his rude message but decided he wasn't worth the effort. I had no desire to enter into a pointless argument with a real live Neanderthal. For a second I was disappointed and then I moved on. His brilliantly penned profile became null and void.
By the same token I cringe when I read profiles that begin with the line, "I hate writing these things but here goes." This is the online equivalent of walking into a bar with a bag on your head; people will look but they won't want to know you. But there is no point in writing a great profile if you're than going to act like a thug.
The fact is people can smell desperation a mile away. Even through a computer screen. An online dater may think they're are being smart that they're breaking the rules, but all everyone sees is a loser in a bar with a bag over their heads.
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